24 Tips to Start Electric Fence Wiring Business

Electric Fence Wiring Business: Building a good electric fence is like anything else.

You get out what you put in.

If you use the proper equipment and maintain the fence.

The result will be a permanent structure.

Just like the barb wire you use to use.

The advantage of using electric or ‘high tensile fences is on average.

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Electric Fence Wiring Business:

Electric Fence Wiring Business
Electric Fence Wiring Business: http://www.interstatefenceco.com

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1. Electric Fence Wiring Business

They cost less than a barb wire fence.

Since less materials are required (ie posts, staples and wire).

And they take less time to install.

The electric fence option is also more versatile.

You can take it down quickly and re-install somewhere else.

This is particularly useful during times of drought.

When there are pasture shortages and producers are looking for additional grazing options.

2. Electric Fence Wiring Business

Electric fences are mental barriers not physical barriers.

For all classes of cattle and grazing situations.

When livestock are trained properly.

And the fence is working the way it was designed to (ie with the proper voltage on the fence).

Cattle will touch the fence once and than leave it alone.

This includes all seasons of grazing or pasture confinement.

Such as spring, summer, fall and winter.

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3. Planning your smart electric fence grid

Prepare a scaled map of the farm.

It will be the base layer of all your further farm planning steps.

All other steps will be planned as overlays on this base map;

Design the permanent electric fence corridors that you will use to divide your land into broad swathes.

4. Electric Fence Wiring Business

Determine how you will use portable electric fence subdivisions in your electric fence installation.

To create a natural herd migration through these broad permanent fence corridors;

Simultaneously plan your livestock water system.

So that every single pasture slice will have access to water.

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5. Electric Fence Wiring Business

Pre-plan your winter grazing strategy to include winterized water sites.

And a logical winter pasture rotation.

That will help your cattle overcome deep snow, extreme cold weather.

Snow crusting, and mud in the shoulder seasons.

Electric Fence Wiring Business

6. Fencing materials

Smooth steel wire is the material most often used for electric fences.

Ranging from a fine thin wire used as a single line to thicker, high-tensile (HT) wire.

Less often, woven wire or barbed wire fences can be electrified.

Though such practices create a more hazardous fence.

Particularly if a person or animal becomes caught by the fencing material.

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7.Electric Fence Wiring Business

Electrified barbed wire is unlawful in some areas.

Synthetic webbing and rope-like fencing materials woven with fine conducting wires.

Usually of stainless steel have become available over the last 15 to 20 years.

And are particularly useful for areas requiring additional visibility or as temporary fencing.

Electric Fence Wiring Business:

8. Electric Fence Wiring Business

The electrified fence itself must be kept insulated from the earth.

And from any materials that will conduct electricity.

And ignite or short out the fence.

Fencing must therefore avoid vegetation.

And cannot be attached directly to wood or metal posts.

Typically, wooden or metal posts are driven into the ground and plastic.

Or porcelain insulators are attached to them, or plastic posts are used.

The conducting material is then attached to the posts.

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9. Electric Fence Wiring Business

By the time you are done planning your electric fence installation.

And your farm business plan.

You should have the following overlays for your base farm map.

Excluding any layers that do not apply to your operation.

10. Create a clean simple base map:

Draw a simplified map of your farm.

Air photos do not make good base maps because they are too cluttered and busy.

Air photos are wonderful for locating features.

But do not draw on the air photo itself.

Either draw your base map on clean white paper.

Or better yet, draw it on a transparent overlay placed over your air photo.

So you can add or remove your air photo at any time.

To make adjustments to your transparencies.

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Electric Fence Wiring Business:

11. Electric Fence Wiring Business

Refer to the air photo to annotate your base map with simplified topographical features.

And to keep your map to scale.

But then remove the air photo before moving on to the next step of your planning process.

This simplified view is much less cluttered than an air photo.

Making it much easier to plan your pasture fences and water systems.

12. Electric Fence Wiring Business

To create your transparent overlays.

I recommend using velum for hand-drawn maps.

Because its much thicker and more durable than tracing paper.

And can typically be bought in large sheets at least 17×22 inches in size.

You may need to go to a drafting supply store as not all office supply stores carry Velum.

Or, better yet, use a computer software drawing program.

That allows you to create multiple map layers.

That can be individually edited and stacked over your air photo and base map.

In the brief article about how to organize and draw your cattle management plan.

I discuss how to use a computer-based drawing program.

To create your farm planning maps and provide my recommendations for which programs to use.

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13. Electric Fence Wiring Business

The base map should be drawn to scale.

So you can measure fence distances.

And easily calculate your material requirements.

When you are ready to begin construction of your electric fence installation.

  • Show key topographical features:
    • Water features
    • Important differences in soil type
    • Timber, forest areas, scrub brush, etc.
    • Prime pasture areas
    • Ridges, gullies, etc.

14. Electric Fence Wiring Business

DO NOT include existing pasture fence infrastructure on your base map.

I recommend reading this brief article.

On how to deal with pre-existing fence infrastructure.

During your electric fence planning process.

If your farm already has some existing cattle fences.

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15. Electric Fence Wiring Business

Include a rough elevation cut-out across both directions of your farm.

This is important for planning your livestock water system.

And helps suggest ideal locations for your permanent electric fence corridors.

16. Divide your land into broad corridors using permanent electric fencing:

Create a new transparent map overlay on top of your base map

  • Divide your land into broad permanent electric fence corridors.
  • These will be built using high-tensile 12-guage wire and permanent wooden posts.
  • These corridors direct the flow of your pasture rotation.
  • Youll create daily pasture slices by dividing these corridors using portable electric fencing and temporary step-in fence-posts, which Ill discuss in Step # 3.
  • These broad corridors provide power to all corners of your farm, which you’ll hook onto later with your portable electric fence subdivisions.

    Electric Fence Wiring Business

  • Corridors should be slightly narrower than the length of a single spool of portable electric wire.
  • Check with your electric fence dealer to find out what wire lengths are available on portable wire spools before planning your permanent fence corridors.
  • Common wire lengths on pre-wrapped portable electric fence spools are 200m (656′), 400m (1312′), 500m (1640′) and 1000m (3300′).

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17. Electric Fence Wiring Business

DO NOT draw on your base map.

Use removable transparencies or overlays to plan your corridors.

So you can easily edit your pasture fence plan.

There will be a large number of separate overlays before you are done your planning process.

Each showing a different part of your farm business plan.

You dont want everything planned on the same map layer.

Because it will completely clutter your plan.

Each map layer will be applicable to different seasons.

And reflect different parts of your management strategy, so you dont need to see them all at once.

Electric Fence Wiring Business:

18. Fence layout – where to put your electric fence corridors

Your electric fence grid is a direct reflection of how you intend to manage every single aspect of your cattle operation.

Fence layout is so important that it essentially functions.

As the 3-dimensional business plan of your entire farm – it is the blueprint to your entire business.

Construction of your electric fence installation should only begin after you can ‘see’ how your entire production year will play out in the series of map overlays that you are building as part of your electric fence planning process.

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19. Electric Fence Wiring Business

The list below is a sample of all the questions that you need to address in your farm plan and on your map overlays before you plant your first fence post.

The answers to every single one of these questions will be reflected in the layout of your electric fence installation.

The example farm plan shows how all of these questions have been addressed in a simple, neat package by that pre-plan each stage of the operation.

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20. Sample of some of the questions that electric fence installation should consider:

  1. How will you provide your cattle with adequate water in both summer and winter from every part of your pasture rotation?
  2. What are your calving, breeding, and weaning strategies and when are they scheduled to happen during the production year?
  3. How will you source your cattle (i.e. are you buying grazers or raising your own calves)?
  4. If you are routinely buying new cattle for rotational grazing, how will you settle them during the disease-prone first weeks after arrival?
  5. What is your strategy to train new cattle to electric fences?

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  6. What is your grass-finishing strategy?
  7. How do you plan to market your cattle?
  8. What is your plan for maintaining and improving your pasture productivity?
  9. How will you manage your soil fertility?
  10. How will you manage your soil moisture and irrigation requirements?
  11. What is your weed management strategy?
  12. What is your disease treatment protocol?

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  13. What are your cattle handling strategies, such as:
    • what is your strategy to accomplish pasture moves?
    • how will you sort sick animals from the herd?
    • how and where will you quarantine sick animals?
    • how will you sort cattle from the herd on slaughter days?
    • what is your corral layout and how will your cattle reach it from each and every pasture on the farm?

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  14. How do you plan to provide adequate nutrition for your cattle during the winter?
    • How will you prepare your pastures for winter grazing?
    • How will your rotational grazing strategy change after the growing season ends?
    • Do you have a monthly forage analysis program and do you work with a livestock nutritionist to manage your winter grazing program?
    • Do you know how to monitor body condition scores so you know how to keep cattle safe during winter grazing?

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  15. Where will your cattle be during the muddy spring thaw to reduce disease pressure and prevent pasture damage?
  16. How will you maintain a drought reserve?
  17. What is your drought plan? Your drought plan should include a feed and/or grazing reserve, your drought response protocol, and financial reserves to allow you to survive the financial consequences of drought or disaster.

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21. Training Livestock to Respect an Electric Fence

When training livestock to respect an electric fence it is a good idea to use a smaller pasture.

Approximately three to four acres in size, with a 3 to 4 electrified wire fence.

The goal is to shock the animals once.

And to do this you may need to attract the animals to the wire by tying tinfoil or ribbon to the wire.

Cattle are usually quick learners, when shocked once with a 5000-volt fence, they rarely touch it again.

After about three to four days all animals should know to avoid the fence.

Another way to train livestock to electric fence is to use electrified corrals during the winter feeding period.

Electric Fence Wiring Business:

22. Fence Maintenance

One of the most useful tools will be a volt meter or a fault finder.

This will help you ensure the proper voltage is being delivered on a regular basis.

And if you have a fault finder it will speed up the repair process by indicating the direction of the problem.

Every spring it is important to walk the fence line to ensure the insulators are still in place and then wire is tight.

As well you can check for debris such as fallen trees which will decrease the power running through the wire. In the winter, if the energizer is not in use, it should be stored in a clean, dry place.

If you are using a solar powered electric fence you will want to charge the battery prior to storing it for the winter.

23. Donts of Electric Fencing

  • Do not power barb wire.
  • Do not use barb wire on gates.
  • Do not use your gate wire to transfer power from one side of the brace to the other.
  • Do not leave your fence tight over winter; the wire will contract and pull your braces out of line.
  • Do not overtighten your wire when installing – just take out the slack.
  • Do not turn cattle out into a strange pasture or with cattle that have not been trained to electric fence. It is not a physical barrier and they will run through it.
  • Do not run electric wire in conjunction with barb wire.
  • Do not use copper wire to connect ground rods to fencer because they corrode.
  • Do not tighten high tensile wire if it has been kinked. It will break. Tie proper knots to reconnect.
  • Do not use low quality/power robbing supplies – you WILL replace it ALL over time and will not be HAPPY.

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24. Troubleshooting

The most common problem with electric fence is low voltage. This could be due to one or more of the following problems.

  • Vegetation/trees on the wire.
    Solution: Ensure fence is free from debris
  • Missing and/or poor quality insulator
    Solution: Check insulators and replace missing and/or poor quality
  • Inadequate grounding
    Solution: Add more ground rods or replace corroded ground rods
  • Low battery in solar system
    Solution: Charge or replace battery or replace solar panel with a larger one
  • Too small of a fencer/energizer
    Solution: Buy a larger fence.

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